Wide release for Week

With a 'significant' marketing campaign last summer that grew to include partnerships with Roots and Air Canada, boutique distributor Mongrel Media is hoping for sky-high success.

Mongrel Media has reached some unusually large audiences lately – from the decidedly youth-aimed How She Move, on which it teamed with Paramount Vantage last winter to the tune of some $7 million, to Away from Her, which so famously combined high praise and box-office receipts in 2006.

And yet, at nearly 60 screens, this Friday’s release of One Week marks the widest ever of a Canadian film by the boutique distributor.

Mongrel is pulling out all the stops for Michael McGowan’s road-trip drama with a $1-million P&A push to leverage the popular appeal of Fringe‘s Joshua Jackson in the lead. ‘We believe that if we get the audiences on the weekend, we will do very well because it’s a word-of-mouth film,’ says Mongrel president Hussain Amarshi.

One Week is the story of a young man, played by Vancouver native Jackson (best known for his role as Pacey in the long-running US teen series Dawson’s Creek, and J.J. Abrams’ sci-fi Fringe), who embarks on a soul-searching cross-Canada road trip after he learns he has cancer. The film also features Liane Balaban (New Waterford Girl) and Campbell Scott (Dying Young, Roger Dodger).

Amarshi admits he was ‘quite taken’ with the film at script stage, and actively began mapping out the details of a ‘significant’ marketing campaign last summer that grew to include partnerships with retailer Roots and Air Canada, which showed the trailer on many of its flights.

‘There’s a whole range of people who love the country and love to travel…particularly in the current [economic] climate where there will be more domestic travel,’ Amarshi explains, adding that the ‘Canadiana and sense of adventure’ that the movie exemplifies appealed to Roots.

The distributor and its partners are running contests on the film’s site, including a trip for two to the Rockies, while Mongrel also invested in billboards, TV and radio trailers, and print ads. Cineplex ran previews prior to films such as Oscar darling Slumdog Millionaire.

From Playback Daily